Going to the gym is an excellent form of working out. It helps develop muscle mass and strengthens your bones which in the long run helps prevent the onset of age-related weakness and even diseases like osteoarthritis and dementia. However, for all its benefits most of us cannot take out the time to commute to a gym and then hit the weights for 45 minutes to an hour straight and then commute back. Plus a good gym often costs a good monthly fee which is a strain on the budget, especially if we cannot make it to the gym on most days. However before you hang up those workout shoes for good, there is good news. You do not have to go to a gym to do resistance training; you can do it pretty much anywhere with bodyweight exercises.

What Are Bodyweight Exercises?

Simply put bodyweight exercises are those which use your bodyweight in lieu of the machines and free weights at the gym. Your own weight provides the “resistance” element for the resistance training. And since it is your own bodyweight that is serving the part of the free-weights (aka dumbbells etc.) you can do these exercises anytime, and anywhere.

Must Read: How Young Is Too Young When It Comes To Weight Training

Another benefit of body weight exercises is that they help to attain strength building and mobility in one go. Mobility exercises are important for in the long run they help to prevent the wear and tear in your joints. And you will find that bodyweight exercises also help to increase stamina and flexibility over time.

Which Are Some Effective Best Body Weight Exercises?

1. Reverse Crunch


Everyone must have heard and tried the traditional Crunches to combat their belly fat. While traditional crunches are effective, most people end-up putting a huge strain on their neck while doing them, which just leads to neck pain. The reverse crunch makes it easier for you to stabilize your neck and upper back.

First, lie on your back on the floor (use a yoga mat if you wish to) with your legs fully extended in front of you. Put your arms to your side with your palms pressing on the floor.

Roll your knees into your chest and then press them up straight in the air. Bring your legs back down to the starting position (using the same motion, but this time in reverse). This makes for one rep. In the start, you should try to do 8 and then work your way to 12 over time.

2. Monkey Push-ups


Traditional push-ups are very effective but as with everything repeating an exercise starts to get boring. To mix up your workout you should try your hand at monkey-pushups.

Start in a traditional push-up position. Press up and when your arms are fully extended, rotate yourself and kick the left leg underneath your body and out to the ride side.

After you are done with the first step above, repeat with your right leg.  Alternate both sides for a total for 10 to 16 reps.

By adding the rotation you get all the benefits of traditional pushups and as a bonus, you also work your oblique muscles. It also makes for a great stretch reflex for chest muscles.

Even if you do have time for the gym, doing the same exercises over and over again, be it the bicep curl or the bench-press starts to get old and boring. But with body weight exercises there are tons of them out there allowing you to mix it up. I am sure you had not heard of monkey push-ups in your local gym. If you do get bored of these regular workouts, try these scientifically proven ways to become gym motivated to achieve a healthier life.

3. Planks


Planks are one of the best body weight exercises. They work your entire body muscles, especially the core.  The plank not only strengthens your core, but works as the perfect cool-down exercise. It helps to loosen your muscles after a tough workout; plank is the perfect exercise to prevent cramps and muscle spasms.

Also See: Five Reasons to Stay Warm After Your Workout

It is quite a simple exercise to carry out, quite similar to push-up. Lie down on the floor, face down. Then raise yourself on your arms, palms down. Also, you will have to put your lower body weight on your toes. Try to hold this position for a minimum of 15 seconds, and slowly work yourself to achieving a minute.

4. Squats


We all know what squats are. Everyone hates doing squats. Squats are however the best possible exercise you can do.

Your thigh muscle is the largest muscle in the body. Squats engage your thighs and help develop them. Leg strength is very important for your entire body rests on them. It has been shown by research that lower body strength contributes to overall body strength. You should start by doing at least three sets of 10 reps.

5. Pull-ups


This is a very difficult exercise to achieve.  It is very simple; you hang on to a bar and pull yourself up.  It is the perfect exercise for it engages all of your muscles. It especially develops back strength and engages all of your core muscles.

Pull-ups are not something you will be able to achieve easily. But the trick is to keep at it. Eventually, when you reach a single push-up, you should aim to reach 6 reps in one.